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Hi all-

I powered in my car today while it was plugged into my 240 charger and turned on the heat to precondition the car. It seemed more efficient than doing a remote start. My mileage did not drop like it sometimes does with a remote start. Is this ok to start the car while it’s plugged in and turn on the heat, or can I damage something? All the car said was “charge cord connected”. I then left the car on and unplugged it and drive away.
 

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Hadn’t heard of any difference before. Aren’t they the same thing?
 

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How would it be more 'efficient'?
The whole system is booted up compared to just the HVAC systems.

But there is nothing wrong with doing it your way, except car theft potential....
 

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I’d rather precondition remotely so I don’t have to go in and out of the house twice. Don’t even have to change out of my jammys.
 

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Hi all-

I powered in my car today while it was plugged into my 240 charger and turned on the heat to precondition the car. It seemed more efficient than doing a remote start. My mileage did not drop like it sometimes does with a remote start. Is this ok to start the car while it’s plugged in and turn on the heat, or can I damage something? All the car said was “charge cord connected”. I then left the car on and unplugged it and drive away.
The issue is someone could drive off with your car.

I think efficiency difference might be your climate settings, preconditioning might run the heat warmer or something. Might check what you are using.
 

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No problem with that at all. The disadvantage is you may get the horn triple honk when you close the door if you take your keys out with you. Also the theft problem mentioned, but you could lock the doors like that to make the car at least that much harder to drive off with.
 

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Perhaps opening the door to the garage heated it up? Only kidding of course but I'd wonder if the temperatures were the same. I'm trying to imagine why you'd get a different result and can't think of a reason. In both cases you're using power from the wall supplemented by the battery. In fact I'd think turning the car on would draw slightly more power since more things would be turned on.

My best guess would be that, as mentioned by viking79, the heat settings might be different, with the remote start drawing more power.
 

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Are you using Remote Start twice? If not, prior to parking make sure you have the settings on Comfort and temp on HI with fan about the middle setting. Also I get better heating with the vent blowing out the face vent instead of the feet. Then remote start wait 10 min and repeat. Then wait a few minutes for the battery to regain full charge. Should work fine.
 

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On a different note, I often use my volt as a very expensive space heater in my garage by plugging it in, starting it, rolling down the windows, opening the hatch, and setting the heat to full blast. Just make sure you have plenty of juice in the battery before attempting this as eventually the charger won't keep up with the load so it might start the ICE.
 

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The issue is someone could drive off with your car.
They can't under a remote start condition you have to have the FOB on you when you get in the car and then depress the brake pedal while pushing the start button.
 

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Are you using Remote Start twice? If not, prior to parking make sure you have the settings on Comfort and temp on HI with fan about the middle setting. Also I get better heating with the vent blowing out the face vent instead of the feet. Then remote start wait 10 min and repeat. Then wait a few minutes for the battery to regain full charge. Should work fine.
In both my '13 Volt and '14 ELR the current control settings didn't make a difference. The ELR even runs the seat heaters if it's really cold. In all cases, when I go out to drive the car (and precondition is still active) the fan is on high.
 

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The issue is someone could drive off with your car.

I think efficiency difference might be your climate settings, preconditioning might run the heat warmer or something. Might check what you are using.
They couldn't drive away with your car unless they had your fob in their pocket. No fob no gear shifter.
 

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Remote start sets heat using temperature setting last used. It runs for 10 mins at close to full blast. If the draw is more than 3.3kw, some energy will be used from the battery. Remote start also defrosts the rear window, if required - and may defog the front window as well.

If you start the car normally and start the AC, depending on what temp you use, what mode you use ECO vs COMFORT), whether you defrost the rear window, whether you had auto de-fog turned on or off, how much time you ran it, etc, it may use more or less power.
 

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I find if it's "damn cold" (like today), remote start will override your settings and bump to max it can do (it will resume your settings when you get in and press start).
If your cabin settings were "gentler" than absolute max everything, then it would conceivably use less power to do so if you got in and started vs use the fob.

e.g. if it was on eco+auto when I parked and it's only a bit cold, it will remote start in eco (slower fan speed is noticeable + no used kWh on the display).
This morning (-17C) it started in full blast comfort for the remote start - when I then hit start button the fan audibly slowed as it resumed the eco program.
If I had just got in and pressed start it would only have run at eco the entire time.
 
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